Soften Your Opinions

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um-022812-emailDoes anyone ever ask you to tell him or her the truth? They tell you to:

Be direct

Be a strait shooter

Don’t hold back

 

But are you telling the truth or giving an opinion?

It happened slowly and over time for me to realize that my opinions are not the truth. And it’s taken me a lifetime to soften my opinions. My opinions are simply what I’ve decided so far.

And when someone challenges my opinion instead of arguing, I’ve trained myself to listen.

Sometimes I have to remember that I’m not on the Fox channel as the opposing opinion, pointing out the errors in others’ thinking, but someone who sees thought as action, asking questions to uncover original or creative thought to discover what can change in order to have a fulfilling life.

This week several people shared news on what they were going to do in the matter of their lives. I definitely had opinions!

One was a complex financial matter, and another was a relationship that was disintegrating.

In the financial matter it was easy to listen. The person was at a point of decision after months of analysis. He already knew what to do. The road to decision can be painful, but once a decision is made, the path unfolds in all of its glory, surprises, and challenges. And I agreed with his decision.

But often the state of pre-decision is agonizing especially in matters of the heart, and it’s harder to listen.

I’ve heard where two or more are gathered there is God. I’ve also found that where two or more are gathered there are opinions. And when they are:

  • Strongly held.
  • Fixed on changing the other person.
  • Fueled by one’s own importance on being right.
  • Indifferent to the needs or desires of the other person.

It’s a recipe for divorce.

It’s hard not to take sides where two people are concerned.

Likeability is a factor.

So as I was stewing about how to be helpful, my most trusted coach reminded me that there are always two sides to every situation. If you want to help don’t take sides. Just be present to listen.

In that moment I realized that I was helping one person be right instead of healed.

The lesson I learned?

When I’m attached, I’m not much help! I operate from my opinions instead of from love. And what people need from me are not more opinions. Otherwise I’d be signing off by saying, “My opinions go with you as you work with this Uplifting Moment!”

Love is not a passive state or a feeling that is with you one moment and gone the next.

Love allows acceptance so you can gaze into another and see who they are. When I soften my gaze to look into the eyes of another from love, I find that my opinions also soften. Differences of opinion against a background of love co-exist peacefully.

My love goes with you as you work with this Uplifting Moment.

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